This post brought to you by the letter ‘E’

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine overdose cases resulting in death, in and around Edmonton since the start of 2009:

2 girls Paul First Nation – Feburary
1 girl Edmonton – April

I believe the words I heard tonight were “Local Outcry over growing teenage drug abuse. Three teenage girls dead from overdosing on Ecstasy in the span of 3 months. 2 14 year olds and a 15 year old.”

Is there a reason the news bringers in this city feel the need to report on stories like this? Slow news day aside, of course. Do we really need to know that there’s a ‘growing’ drug abuse problem amongst teenagers in the city? I say ‘growing’, because it’s always growing, it’s been a problem as far back as I can remember. Teenagers were experimenting with drugs when I was teenager, when my parents were teenagers and I’m sure my grandparents had some drug exposure. I wonder if newspapers back in the late 1800’s continually read, ‘Parental Outcry Over Growing Opium Problem That Claimed the Life of Another London Teenager.’ So if it’s always coined a ‘growing’ problem, WHEN THE FUCK IS IT GOING TO APEX? By all accounts – at least according to my math, which is shaky at best, unless it’s finance, which is another story – if the problem is always continually growing, then every single teenage on the face of this little blue planet should be so stoned they’re going sterile and parents everywhere should be crying and questioning where they went wrong.

Television folk – producers mostly – please don’t put these crying people on camera anymore. I can no longer stand watching them ask dumb questions like, “Why?” and the gem, “My daughter was always taught that drugs are bad. I don’t understand how this happened”. We don’t need to see crying children and distraught parents plastered all over the evening news. Something ‘horrible’ just happened to someone close to them, of course they’re going to be distraught.

I can see why they’d put those images on the tube, human interest stories = ratings. ratings + human interest stories = awards. Awards build careers. But reporting on something like this is akin to a cat waiting by a clear window for his meal to fly by.

“… drugs are bad.” That line would feel right at home if it were accompanied with an “mmkay” at the end. When kids go through high school, they’re put through a sort of “drug education”. I’m sure the program itself varies from school to school, but the one I experienced was particularly effective. Not to say I’m anti-drug by any means, but it armed me with what I consider an effective education about them.

The task was handed to my grade 9 science teacher and what she did was brilliant. Lump every drug together, push the legality issues aside and focuses strictly on what the drug does to the human body. It was eye opening to do a project comparing the Opiates; Opium, Heroin, Morphine and Codeine side by side, fuck, those all come from the same plant, but what makes them different? (Trick question, I know what makes them different.)

Of course there’s one downside to doing it that way. When the legality issues are brushed to the side in favour of focusing solely on the effects, you achieve the knowledge without the same legal fear, which also has the potential to lead kids down the path of experimentation. If they were so inclined.

To clarify, we were informed of the legalities, we didn’t go into depth with them. So it’s not as if the whole class was thinking, “We’re going a project comparing the potential addictive qualities of Tylenol against Opium, Tylenol is legal, therefore Opium is legal.”

I’d like to sit down all the kids who go through high school “drug education” programs and force them to watch, Traffic, Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting. Not in a blatant attempt at pushing an anti-drug stance, but to shock them. Give them a graphic representation of what some of that shit might do – yes, it’s a little over the top, I couldn’t really find an ocean in a toilet, but fuck it, corrupt them a little early and play with their minds a little bit.

And if they still want to experiment after that?

Fine. But that’s the point all the crying ‘friends’ of the deceased and parents at home don’t understand, or seem to be glossing over. You can educate someone year after year about the horrors and dangers of drug use, but if the inclination is there, guess what, they are going to find a way to do drugs. Education and common sense are the best you can hope for. People are going to experiment, that’s what we do. Hell, there are debates and scientific studies about the nutritional properties of drinking urine and what is considered the best coffee on the planet is picked out of the feces of a particular species of cat. Do you think we just know this? Is that knowledge something we’re born with?

Is it that far fetched to think people are going to do something knowing full well that it might end in their death?

No.

People are a lot like computers, capable of amazing things, but dumb. You can tell a person that by sticking a fork in an electrical socket they will likely die, but still somewhere, someone is going to try it. Try it, I dare you.

Enough of the tomfoolery of teenagers.

Three of my series predictions went to pot the last two nights.

Chicago beat Calgary and the Ducks upset the Sharks. By upset I mean, silence the critics (myself included, I am humbled) who said that the Sharks would walk through the Ducks en route to the second round. Where did it go wrong? I’ve been able to watch a few of the games on CBC – because for some ungodly reason Hockey Night in Canada totally cut the Calgary/Chicago, New Jersey/Carolina and New York/Washington series’ out of broadcast. The credit can’t possibly lay solely with the stellar Jonas Hiller. Anaheim gave a complete team effort. The Sharks on the other hand can be summed up with one word. Lethargic. They showed flashes of brilliance for shifts during the series, but couldn’t put together a complete game. Where was Joe Thornton? Winning the Presidents Trophy and dropping out in the first round is quite possibly the worst possible situation for a team to be in. The bragging rights of dominating the regular season are put to rest by the, “but who won The Cup again?” retort. Plus you have the second last draft pick in the upcoming draft, so the better prospects are going to the teams that barely made it into the playoffs. However, the Sharks have one thing working in their corner, if they want to bank on the players learning from this experience, they can ice almost an identical next season.

Carolina pulled an upset on the Devils and Washington completed the comeback against the Rangers. Of course I didn’t get to see either of those series, both of those would have been bloody exciting to watch.

I swear, I’ll have my round two predictions out before I see another one of those insufferable NHL Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas, commercials.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mr “no team is moving and we’re not expanding the NHL” Gary Bettman, has decided to host this years NHL awards in Las Vegas. And why not? I’m surprised the show is even televised. In previous seasons the NHL has tried to garner ‘hype’ for the award ceremonies – following in the footsteps of the academy awards perhaps? It failed. We know the winners of a good portion of the awards already and unlike the movies, people rarely reflect on the time Chara won the Norris (my prediction for top defenseman) the same way they would over Forrest Gump’s Academy awards in 1994.

So make the awards an event for the GMs. Make it a low key affair and let the people involved enjoy themselves before the official offseason. In the meantime, I’ll see the updates on the web.

Just please don’t put a hockey team in Las Vegas.

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